film The Best Movies Based on Plays  

Originally by
1.6k votes 168 voters 15k views 54 items Follow Embed

List Rules Films that were based on a play, but NO musicals. Vote up the best movies that were originally stage / theatre productions.

There are tons of famous plays, and the glitz and glamour of attending the theatre is a truly unique experience. While few things are more powerful than the excitement of live theatre, many plays were just so good, they were begging to be turning into a movie. Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire were both made into successful film adaptations, and Glengarry Glen Ross was originally based on a David Mamet play. What are the best movies based on plays? Vote up the best films below and see where your favorites rank.
 
This movies on this list were all based on plays and have been ranked by users as the best. They span many genres as well, including films adapted from Shakespeare plays. Whether you like drama, thrillers, hilarious comedy, or even musicals, there is certainly a movie here that you will enjoy.
 
Vote up the best films below, that started life as a play for the stage, or add one you love that isn't already on the list.

list ordered by

1
+ - 57 14
Ranker Video v
A Streetcar Named Desire Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden - Based on the Tennessee Williams play of the same name.

Musical Movies With the Best Songs The Best Netflix Original Specials

2
+ - 54 18
Ranker Video v
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives - Based on the Tennessee Williams play of the same name.

3
+ - 52 18
Ranker Video v
Amadeus Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole - Based on  Peter Shaffer's play of the same name.

4
+ - 40 16
Ranker Video v
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal - Based on the Edward Albee play of the same name.

5
+ - 43 18
Ranker Video v
Arsenic and Old Lace Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey - Based on  Joseph Kesselring's play of the same name.

6
+ - 18 3
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Based on Plays
Casablanca Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre - Based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's play, Everybody Comes to Rick's.

7
+ - 25 10
Ranker Video v
Inherit the Wind Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan - Based on  Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee's play of the same name.

8
+ - 31 16
Ranker Video v
Glengarry Glen Ross Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey - Based on the David Mamet play of the same name.

9
+ - 31 14
Ranker Video v
Death of a Salesman Dustin Hoffman, John Malkovich, Charles Durning - Based on Arthur Miller's play of the same name.

10
+ - 16 3
Ranker Video v
Dracula Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle - Based on Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston's play of the same name.

11
+ - 16 5
Ranker Video v
The Odd Couple Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Herb Edelman - Based on Neil Simon's play of the same name.

12
+ - 12 2
Ranker Video v
Dial M for Murder Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland - Based on Frederick Knott's play of the same name.

13
+ - 9 3
Ranker Video v
A Few Good Men Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson - Based on Aaron Sorkin's play of the same name.

14
+ - 9 3
Ranker Video v
Wait Until Dark Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Robby Benson - Based on Frederick Knott's play of the same name.

15
+ - 23 19
Ranker Video v
A Bronx Tale Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Chazz Palminteri - Based on  Chazz Palminteri's play of the same name.

The Best Musicals Based on Movies 7 Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

16
+ - 7 3
Ranker Video v
On Golden Pond Jane Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda - Based on Ernest Thompson's play of the same name.

17
+ - 21 16
Ranker Video v
Frost/Nixon Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen - Based on Peter Morgan's play of the same name.

18
+ - 10 5
Ranker Video v
The Lion in Winter Anthony Hopkins, Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole - Based on James Goldman's play of the same name.

19
+ - 10 5
Ranker Video v
A Raisin in the Sun Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett, Jr. - Based on Lorraine Hansberry's play of the same name.

20
+ - 5 1
Ranker Video v
Fences Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson - Based on August wilson's play of the same name

21
+ - 24 21
Ranker Video v
Hamlet Mel Gibson, Helena Bonham Carter, Glenn Close - Based on the William Shakespeare play of the same name.

22
+ - 11 9
Ranker Video v
Suddenly, Last Summer Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift - Based on Tennessee Williams's play of the same name.

23
+ - 13 12
Ranker Video v
The Madness of King George Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Rupert Everett - Based on Alan Bennett's play, The Madness of George III.

24
+ - 14 12
Ranker Video v
August: Osage County Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor - Based on  Tracy Letts's play of the same name.

25
+ - 5 3
Ranker Video v
Long Day's Journey Into Night Katharine Hepburn, Jason Robards Jr., Dean Stockwell - Based on Eugene O'Neill's play of the same name.

26
+ - 12 12
Ranker Video v
Angels in America Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk - Based on Tony Kushner's play of the same name.

27
+ - 3 1
Ranker Video v
Driving Miss Daisy Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy - Based on Alfred Uhry's play of the same name.

28
+ - 6 5
Ranker Video v
The Philadelphia Story Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart - Based on Philip Barry's play of the same name.

29
+ - 5 4
Ranker Video v
No Time for Sergeants Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Nick Adams - Based on Mac Hyman's play of the same name.

The Best Rap Movies The Worst Things You Can Make Jokes About

30
+ - 1 0
Ranker Video v
Hamlet Kate Winslet, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal

31
+ - 9 9
Ranker Video v
My Fair Lady Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett - Based on George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion.

32
+ - 5 5
Ranker Video v
A Shot in the Dark Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders - Based on Marcel Achard's play, L'Idiote.

33
+ - 3 3
Ranker Video v
The Glass Menagerie Kirk Douglas, Jane Wyman, Arthur Kennedy - Based on Tennessee Williams's play of the same name.

34
+ - 9 10
Ranker Video v
Throne of Blood Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Isuzu Yamada - Based on William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth.

35
+ - 11 14
Ranker Video v
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss - Based on Tom Stoppard's play of the same name, which was based on William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

36
+ - 3 5
Ranker Video v
Romeo and Juliet (1936) Norma Shearer, Basil Rathbone, John Barrymore

37
+ - 3 5
Ranker Video v
Henry V Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton, Leslie Banks

38
+ - 2 5
Ranker Video v
A Midsummer Night's Dream Mickey Rooney, Olivia de Havilland, James Cagney

39
+ - 1 4
Ranker Video v
Romeo and Juliet (1954) John Gielgud, Laurence Harvey, Flora Robson

40
+ - 8 13
Ranker Video v
In the Company of Men Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, Stacy Edwards - Based on Neil LaBute's play of the same name.

41
+ - 3 7
Ranker Video v
Henry V (1989) Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench

42
+ - 5 10
Ranker Video v
The Ruling Class Peter O'Toole, Harry Andrews, Alastair Sim - Based on Peter Barnes's play of the same name.

43
+ - 7 13
Ranker Video v
Vanya on 42nd Street Julianne Moore, Wallace Shawn, Brooke Smith - Based on Anton Chekhov's play, Uncle Vanya.

The Best TV Shows Based on Movies The Best TV Shows Since 2015

44
+ - 6 13
Ranker Video v
Equus Richard Burton, Jenny Agutter, Joan Plowright - Based on  Peter Shaffer's play of the same name.

45
+ - 4 11
Ranker Video v
The Winslow Boy Nigel Hawthorne, Jeremy Northam, Rebecca Pidgeon - Based on  Terence Rattigan's play of the same name.

46
+ - 6 14
Ranker Video v
Six Degrees of Separation Will Smith, Heather Graham, Ian McKellen - Based on  John Guare's play of the same name.

47
+ - 7 16
Ranker Video v
Closer Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law - Based on  Patrick Marber's play of the same name.

48
+ - 3 11
Ranker Video v
American Buffalo Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, Sean Nelson - Based on David Mamet's play of the same name.

49
+ - 4 13
Ranker Video v
Romeo + Juliet Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Rudd, Brian Dennehy

50
+ - 4 14
Ranker Video v
The Deep Blue Sea Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale - Based on  Terence Rattigan's play of the same name.